All day long, you make decisions – some large, some small. Each one of them reflects the things that you feel are important, your values. What is the basis for this or that decision? It’s something that may not be immediately apparent as you go about your day, dealing with events, people, circumstances.
In fact, you may not even think about this at all. Many people base their ideas and decisions on what they have been told is important or what they feel they ‘should’ be taking as their priorities.
For example, most people feel that they would like to have more of something than they currently have. Specifically, it’s a common feeling that there is not quite enough money in the bank or coming in for the week. What makes this so?
For many people, money is the symbol of happiness. We are constantly being flooded with images that portray having more of everything as being desirable. But is it, really?
Why do people want to have more money, more cars, more ‘busy’ things to do? It is because they believe that this will make them happy. People want things because of the way they think that they will make them feel.
If you unplug from that version of life, you can notice other things. For example, it was Socrates who pointed out that “Contentment is the wealth of Nature,” and therefore true wealth consists of feelings of contentment.
What is the price of knowing that you did your best in a situation, that you didn’t turn your back on someone who needed your help?
What if it were true that having less distractions gives you more time to feel truly alive? What if that made it more possible for you to experience true happiness, which is without external cause?
Real happiness cannot be bought or even created. It is always there, waiting to be noticed, even in the smallest details of your life.
What you do in each moment is a small portrait of who you are on the deepest level. Every moment is a chance to embrace the sacredness of your life and of the world. Every person you meet has a hidden message for you.
Embracing the ability to notice these things, as your priority, to be your mission, will free you from the burdens of ‘not enough,’ and of ‘too much,’ which are the twins of discontent. You will then be truly in the moment and ready to understand yourself and life in a different way.
How can you take that little step back from appearances and go a little deeper into what your life truly is, and truly means? What would it be like to let your own feelings and desires take priority, instead of always letting others define what you are doing, and where you put your attention?
Appearances can be deceiving.
We all want to be useful and of service to others. However, without taking the time to dive deeply into our own deepest knowing, we have less wisdom and more busyness to offer, less true openhearted life to live.
When you truly take time to love yourself, to understand what is important to you – and to honor it – you will be in contact with your own riches, which can never be reduced in any way.
How do your decisions reflect your values and priorities? What is the key priority in your life in your 60s? Please share your own ponderings in the comments below.
I love hearing empowered older women. I have a full, energetic life & enjoy my hobbies. I love helping my family & friends. I live in a beautiful place. I’m sure I am bi polar & ADHD but Don’t want to take drugs although lithium has been discussed. My highs are to the sky, my lows are below ground. My loneliness is painful. It’s easy to say let go of the past but difficult to do. I did a 12 step program which actually made me feel worse about myself. I do guided meditation, read self help books, exercise everyday. Does anyone have experience with lithium? Thank you for this website
I want friends. My two closest friends passed away within the past 3 years.. they were both younger than me, in their mid fifties. I live apart from my husband who has mental health issues he doesn’t address, and after losing both my dear friends, I find myself horribly lonely. It’s been almost impossible to make new friendships that are anywhere near the level of connection I long for in a friend. I have to work full time to support myself.. and the only other thing I want is to be able to travel abroad to visit my family (adult daughter). I’m pretty clear about what I want, however making it happen requires others who are willing. I’ve attempted a few times and haven’t found a person who shows continued interest in a friendship.
Loved this inspirational article. Kudos to the author. I completely agree with the premise. I spent my entire life in codependent relationships from parents to husband. I chose to quit a toxic job to start the process of healing myself. I finally accepted my husband’s death as out of my control. I’m still working on one more estranged relationship with siblings, but because I chose to semi retire to finally take care of myself, I have freed myself from the major stressor…work; and that allows me to be present everyday of my journey to heal and resolve issues still out there. Despite how my previous toxic job and management were slowly destroying the most proudest of my qualities…being funny and caring towards others, I knew once I left I could be that person again. It worked! Today I am content with my life and can tackle projects that were pushed aside and caused stress and guilt for not getting to them. I have time to take care of me and to see myself as a whole person campaigning for happiness. Yet, I know ahead I face challenges of aging and financial limitations, I’m no longer as fearful. Now I take care of only myself and I can focus on being me. I hope others reading this can take away from my experience, the possibility that a scary change, no matter how difficult, can allow them to finally be their true selves and achieve contentment. Start by planning what it will take to make you whole again 💐
Retirement has been the impetus for me to start doing what I WANT to do, instead of what society says I should be doing. And, to learn what I do truly want. It has been eye-opening, to say the least. I am 75, supposedly I should be sitting on my porch knitting. Instead, I moved thousands of miles south 5 years ago to change my life. From being isolated in a beautiful, high cost of living setting to living in a small town with a modest cost of living and moderate temperatures (instead of brutal winters leaving me even more isolated). I knew no one, it was a huge risk. I have made friends, gotten back into political activism and am fired up and enjoying every single day. I am able to travel because my day to day expenses are less. I want to make my area more progressive, more welcoming, more accepting and so I am back into the political fray. It can be frustrating, infuriating and highly rewarding.
Good for you for taking charge of you life. Blessings to you from Texas.
I took the same risk (relocated alone) and unfortunately am very isolated. I chose a “transient” area with better milder winters.. but people largely keep to themselves. The retired community is 10-20 years older than I am.. and I’m still working full time (need to pay the bills!) I’m going to move back to the northeast and be less interested in the weather, which while I totally understand wanting those milder winters, doesn’t make up for the lack of connections in my circumstances. I have hope hearing it worked out for you!
Hi! I’m retired, 71 years, and wish my few friends were my age or younger. I have had a few good friends but for various reasons as they have health problems beside going to their funerals. I don’t get out as much as I liked to. I do get lonely even though I live with someone who is always busy working and doesn’t want to socialize. So…. I do live in a beautiful place but can’t volunteer and don’t really want to. I worked hard enough if you know what I mean. Good luck on your move Jodie. I wish you the best.